Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dark Angel: Season 2, Episode 18: Dawg Day Afternoon

At Joshua’s, Alec watches the news about the transgenic on every channel (including city officials threatening to sue the government department that created the transgenics) and Joshua is painting a picture of Annie – one of many many pictures of her. Alec tries to talk to Joshua about moving on but he shuts Alec down. And Max arrives with an expensive package for Alec – a birth certificate proving he had a twin and a passport proving he was out of the country during the murders – his name is cleared.

From there to Jam Pony and the television has a Preacher being interviewed saying that transgenics are not due human rights – or even be considered animals and they’re not really alive; supported by Normal of course until he’s interrupted by Logan’s hack. He talks about transgenics’ humanity, but Alec puts it down to him reaching out to Max who is still keeping her distance from him.

White speaks to his boss who is not happy about the disaster, trying to get a free hand to do what he wants now the secret has been blown. His boss won’t have it – acknowledge the transgenics and then there will be a full investigation, congressional hearings etc. He has the police chief in pocket and is willing to work to spin it into non-existence.

Meanwhile Logan is doing the opposite, having paid Asha to get the full, unedited footage of the transgenic worker, showing the police attacking him first. He says he’ll put it on the air but Asha doesn’t see how it will help – people are freaked out because he’s a transgenic and looks odd, the fact he’s not the aggressor won’t change that. Logan realises he’s so used to transgenics that he’s lost the shock factor of them. She also has relationship advice for Logan, but in doing so she gives him the impression that Alec and Max are together. On the footage Logan also sees White’s car – while everyone else is gathered around the transgenic curiously, this car just drives off slowly. With their photo enhancing software of the gods, Logan manages to clear up the image to show Ames white in the wing mirror.

Max and Alec have their tattoos lasered off, though Alec complains that it both hurts and will just come back again (as said in season 1, the tattoo is linked to their genetics and reappears.) Max gets a page from Logan with the news about White but, of course, is ignoring him still. So Logan rings Alec and Alec being Alec, he ignores her protests and puts her on the phone. He fills her in and they agree the cult is involved with the exposure but she won’t meet with Logan and asks him not to call her.

Angst montage!

Moved by his angst, Joshua goes outside to Annie’s house, spying on her through a window while she reads. But her seeing-eye dog barks and men in the street investigate, furious at the idea of a man peeping at a blind girl who can’t see what he’s doing – and that’s before they notice he’s transgenic. They chase him and he hides, all night – but they keep looking all night (and call him “tr@nny” really? They’re going to use that as a slur?) Until Annie’s dog finds him and she wonders why he didn’t tell her he was back. Especially since she looked up his supposed home town and it doesn’t exist – she assumes he was lying to get rid of her and wasn’t really interested. At which point the three men who were chasing Joshua find them. They attack, but Joshua isn’t a docile worker transgenic and he’s stronger than an X5 – after tossing them aside, he grabs Annie’s hand and they run. Joshua tries to get Annie to go home but she hears the men returning and grabs Joshua when he tries to leave, telling him not to leave her alone. He picks her up and runs with her into the tunnels under the city.

White and his priestess have another sinister meeting, he says he’s been leaking information but the Conclave wants things to go further. While the public are monsters, what worries the conclave are the X series transgenics who can pass as human. They need to exploit the fear that comes from realising your friends, your co-workers could be transgenics. She leaves and he gets a call of about Joshua, he tells his team to move before they get more exposure, then calls the press and exposes it.

Max goes to Joshua’s, finding the house empty and, when she turns on the television, gets a media report of a transgenic kidnapping a blind girl called Annie. She hurries out. As the broadcast ends police, military and a whole circus of people are gathering.

Max arrives at the scene, using her X5 eyes to see the tactical sewer map the police are using in their plan to flush Joshua out. There she sees White and avoids him – but also sees Sketchy, desperate to get the story for his tabloid. Joshua leads Annie through the pipes, cutting off loud water that disorients her. When Annie hears the police coming she thinks it’s rescue – they’ll save them from the people who attacked Joshua. Joshua says “no police” and grabs Annie, covering her mouth and running to a hiding place.

Annie’s pretty furious about this and demands to know why he’s hiding from the police. She wants to know what he’s done – he says it’s what he is. On the surface, Logan sees the police report and sets off – while Max takes out one of the police and enters the sealed sewers – followed by Sketchy.

White comes along and tells his men to go home – there’s nothing they can do with an exposure of this magnitude. He gets a snack and enjoys the show. Joshua explains what he is to Annie but she doesn’t understand because she touched his face. Annie is outraged and horrified that he tricked her with Alec, that he took advantage of the fact she’s blind.

Max moves through the tunnels, hiding from the police – which makes it really unfortunate when Alec calls her to try and figure out what’s happening. She beats up the three cops pretty easily – and then punches Sketchy by accident. Oh well, it solves his snooping. Alec and Logan can then get in touch with Max and guide her around the patrols – but beating up the cops also alerted White and he makes his own way in – taking out cops to get past the perimeter as well. The sector police are having a rather bad day, really. The camera makes it look like he’s moving in on Max, getting closer –until he turns a corner and hits someone with the butt of his gun – Sketchy. He’s having nearly as bad a day as the police force.

Joshua tells Annie he’s going to go to the police to get her safe, but she refuses since it will get him hurt or killed, but he wants her safe. She asks him to let her touch his face, he owes her that much. After examining his features she realises he’s part dog and understands why he did what he did – though she’s still angry about it.]

They make their way out, Annie’s ears finding the way better than Joshua – and Annie decides to stay, she will lead the police in a different direction. Joshua’s reluctant to leave her behind but she points out there’s no threat for her being found, just him. She promises to come round to his house. He leaves her against a corner.

Joshua runs into Max and Logan starts guiding them out. Surrounded by police, Joshua opens the valve he earlier closed, the deluge of water distracting the police enough for them to fight their way out. The police left chase them and inform their bosses they’re in pursuit. A large number of police gather around a manhole cover, guns pointed, waiting for Max and Joshua to emerge. They begin climbing out – but it’s Sketchy who arises though the manhole the police are guarding. Max and Joshua escape through an unguarded manhole – thanks to Alec and the unconscious cops around him.

White finds Annie waiting in the tunnels.

They drive home and Max and Logan have their little tense relationship moment. They go in, celebrate and watch the news – to see a tragedy reported. Annie is dead, her neck snapped by someone with super human strength. Joshua pounds the floor in fury and grief. In the crowd, White takes a call and comments how it’s “getting better and better.”  Max and Alec huddle round Joshua, comforting him, as the news begins to report on the human-looking X-series.

Using an actual slur to be a fictional slur is grossly inappropriate. That slur already means something and cannot be so ignored.

Annie would have been an interesting character – a Black woman who was Blind would be a very inclusive character as well. But she was a tool from the beginning, her being Blind was merely useful because it allowed her to get close to Joshua, it was included for convenience rather than  as a desire to present a character who just happened to be disabled (something that they did far better in season 1, when Logan wasn’t magi-cured and we have Sebastian). Ultimately, her life, he disability and her death were throwaway tools.

The plot is finally moving in Dark Angel, things are coming together, things are advancing – but it’s too little too late. I admit part of that is having already watched the series before, I know that all this dramatic foreshadowing simply isn’t resolved.